BIKE UPDATE: Almost Finished!

I’ve been enjoying putting these little “bike updates” together, and from the responses I’ve gotten I’m not alone. This has really been a fun process, and one that was totally unexpected. I had no idea that when beginning this project to ride across the country for victims of human trafficking, that the bike I would use would be:

  • made out of bamboo
  • made in another country, on another continent
  • constructed by two incredibly gifted “mad scientist” craftsmen who also happen to have awesome senses of humor
  • have a banana attached to it.
OK, so it really doesn’t have a banana attached, but in the most recent pictures sent to me by Klaus and Thiago, they decided to include a banana on the bike. In. Every. Single. Picture. 
These guys are awesome. If I had ever made bikes for people on other continents, I would hide random pieces of fruit on the bike. This is something I would do. I totally would have.
And just like that, over the course of a few months, it ‘s become obvious that I won’t be riding a bike made by a bike maker from Brazil. I’ll be riding a bike made by friends, who happen to live in Brazil.
By request, I will be adding a “PAGE” at the top of the dashboard where I will take all the pictures from the bike build updates and have them in one easy-to-find spot.
And without further ado, the latest picture…There is just a couple of pieces missing, but this for the most part is what the bike will look like!
Image

The other parts for the bikes, the hardware, will be added later when it arrives in the U.S.  For now, all we see is the frame and the seat. This bike will be a ‘recumbent’ style bike, so I will be leaning back in the seat (as you can see from the curvature of the seat itself) and my feet will be forward and level with my body, as opposed to a regular bike where they are located below the rider. A few other cool observations:

  • The rear wheel will be right below my back, under the seat.
  • The steering column is made from bamboo as well, attached to a metal post that runs through the body to the fork below.
  • The bike has a single fork design, so that the fork itself will be on the left of the wheel.
  • On the right side of the picture, at the end of the frame, you can see a round silver hole. That’s where the cranks will be, and where I will have my feet positioned to pedal.
  • The black stuff you see on certain places on the bike is actually carbon fiber, soaked and coated with a naturally based resin. When this hardens, it is nearly as strong as steel, and is used in pretty much every type of bamboo bike work found on the market today. Highly effective, it gives structure while allowing just the right amount of flex necessary without losing its structure and effectiveness.
  • There is actually a banana on the bike in this picture.

I have more to say about this amazing process, but I think I will save that for another post, and also ask Klaus and Thiago to join in the conversation and add their experience working with bamboo in this capacity. It’s really pretty intriguing stuff.

There will be more pictures coming, as they are going to outfit the bike with some spare parts and take it for a test ride to work out any kinks. And of course, once it gets here, there will be more testing and getting used to riding a recumbent as well.

For anyone who would like to donate to my journey, this is a perfect time. The shipping of the bike from Brazil to the U.S. is one cost I will need to cover, and while far less than the cost of a bike, it may still be pricey.  For those that would like to know exactly where they can help and say, “That’s what I helped with!” this is a great item on my list of needs! (Any help received qualifies for the list of gifts for donor angels! please follow this link to help: http://www.gofundme.com/m4ros

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